Palace laments that there is failure in leadership amid PMA cadet death: Panelo

“While we commend the [Philippine Military Academy] for participating with the Baguio police in identifying the upperclassmen as persons of interest or suspects and investigating the incident with its coordination with government authorities, we at the same time lament that there is a failure in leadership as regards being negligent in not stopping this murderous ritual which has no place in a civilized society,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.

He said that the Palace is deeply saddened and outraged when it learned about the tragic death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio due to alleged hazing.

“The Office of the President condemns the barbaric practice of hazing in all its forms,” Panelo said.

He added that as a matter of fact and policy, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11053, or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, last year to ensure that all practices of hazing are checked and all practitioners thereof are penalized with the full weight of the law.

“We are confident that our authorities would implement this new law as they leave no stone unturned in the ongoing investigation on Mr. Dormitorio’s untimely demise,” the presidential spokesperson said.

“With a heavy heart, we express our sincerest condolences to the bereaved family, friends, classmates, and loved ones of the young Darwin.” Secretary Panelo added.